China Appeals For Calm Amid Fears Of War Over US Escalation In Korea


Chinese officials appealed for calm in the Korean peninsula yesterday, as the United States deployed missiles and further military forces to East Asia amid a standoff over North Korea’s nuclear program.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Hong added, “In the present situation, China believes all sides must remain calm and exercise restraint and not take actions which are mutually provocative, and must certainly not take actions which will worsen the situation.”

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>According to Pentagon press secretary George Little, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned his Chinese counterpart, General Chang Wanquan, of a “growing threat to the US and our allies posed by North Korea’s aggressive pursuit of nuclear weapons.” Hagel demanded “sustained US-China dialogue and cooperation on these issues.”

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Details continue to emerge about the US military buildup in the region, which is aimed at escalating military tensions.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>USA Today indicated that these trucks, used to guard against roadside bombs in US-occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, would “offer similar protection in North Korea, should US forces need to travel on its roads”—that is, if US forces invaded and occupied North Korea.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>In another sign of rising tensions in the region, China yesterday cancelled its participation in a joint summit with South Korea and Japan. It cited tensions with Japan over the Senkaku (Diaoyu) islands.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Given that Pyongyang is thought to have only a few crude nuclear bombs, and no means to mount them on a missile—let alone miniaturized, subdivided nuclear devices like those fielded by the United States—such threats appear to be a bluff.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin provocatively announced that he is preparing contingencies for “military action” to rescue South Koreans at Kaesong, if needed.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Together with reports that sections of the North Korean regime are in discussions with German officials to restore full trading and market relations with the imperialist powers, such comments suggest that media presentations of Pyongyang as bent on waging suicidal nuclear war with the US are misleading. A divided, reactionary bureaucracy in Pyongyang is desperately seeking some form of accommodation in the face of overwhelming US pressure on Pyongyang and on Beijing.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>Behind the US conflict with North Korea stands preparations and planning for a far wider and potentially devastating conflict, with China—America’s largest foreign creditor, who has also helped block US war plans against Middle Eastern countries such as Syria and Iran.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>The piece was written by James Dobbins, a former US assistant secretary of state who currently holds top positions at the RAND think-tank. He lists “collapse” in North Korea as the most likely cause of a war between China and the United States, followed by conflict over Taiwan, cyber war, conflict over control of the South China Sea, and conflicts with India.

line-height:150%;font-family:"Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:
"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"”>He writes, “The immediate operational concerns for United States Forces—Korea/Combined Forces Command would be to secure ballistic-missile-launch and WMD sites. If any coherent North Korean army remained, it could be necessary to neutralize its long-range artillery, it could be necessary to neutralize its long-range artillery threatening Seoul as well… While South Korea would provide sizable forces and capabilities for these missions, they would be inadequate to deal with the scope and complexity of a complete North Korean collapse. Substantial and extended commitments of US ground forces would be required to rapidly seize and secure numerous locations, some with vast perimeters.”